« PreviousContinue »
Dios: the negroes aboard informed them of the present
sight of Panama or Venta Cruz; the former being killed in boarding a frigate, the latter dying of a calenture, from having drank some brackish water drawn at the mouth of the river, by the sailors who were sent to obtain water, but who were too indolent to proceed further up where it was fresher.
They stayed with the Symerons that night, Feb. 7, and the next day till noon." 6. Their king dwelt in a city 16 leagues south-east of Panama, and was able to raise seventeen hundred fighting men. They were very earnest with Captain Drake to stay two or three days, engaging to double his number of men in that time if he thought good; but he, thanking them for their kind offer, resolved to prosecute his voyage.” Four Symerons were sent on before to clear the way—“twelve went before as a vanguard, and twelve more in the rear, the English and the two Symeron captains marching in the midst. They were much encouraged by hearing there was a great tree about the midway, where they might at once discern the North Sea, from whence they came, and the South Sea, whither they were going. The fourth day after, Feb. 17, they came to the top of this desired hill, which was very high, and lay east and west like a ridge between the two seas. It was about ten o'clock in the morning when one of the chief Symerons, taking Drake by the hand, desired him to walk up this famous high tree, wherein they had cut divers steps to ascend almost to the top, where they had made a convenient arbour for twelve men conveniently to sit, and from whence, without difficulty, they might plainly discern both the north and south Atlantick Ocean, many of the adjoining trees being cut down to clear the prospect, and divers strong houses built thereupon by the Symerons.”
Having taken Venta Cruz, Drake returned upon Panama, in the neighbourhood of which he and his followers secured as many bars and wedges of gold as they could well carry away, burying above fifty tons of silver in the sand and under old trees. After several adventures at other places, “ with all manner of kindness they took leave of the Symerons. There were at this time belonging to Carthagena, Nombre de Dios, Rio Grand, Sancta Martha, Rio de Hacha, Venta Cruz, Veragua, Nicaragua, the Honduras, and Jamaica, above two hundred frigots, some of one hundred and twenty, others of ten or twelve, but the generality of thirty or forty tun, who all traded between Carthagena and Nombre de Dios, most of which, during their abode on those coasts, the English took, and some twice or thrice over.” Sailing from Cape St Anthony, they “ arrived at Plymouth on Sunday at sermon time, Aug. 9, 1573. The news of Drake's return being speedily carried into the church, so much surprised the people with desire and joy to see him, that few or none remained with the preacher, all running out to observe the blessing of God upon the dangerous labours and endeavours of Captain Francis Drake.”
Aboard the ship in which, in 1577, Drake sailed round the world, while it lay at Deptford, he feasted Queen Elizabeth, “ who knighted and much honoured him for this service, he being the first who had accomplished so vast a design, as to encompass the globe.” This ship was laid up at Deptford for several years, and was held in great admiration by many who came to see it; but being afterward decayed by time, and at length broken up, a chair was made of the planks thereof, and presented to the University Library of Oxford, by John Davies of Deptford, Esq., upon which chair the renowned Cowley thus descants :
“ To this great ship which round the world has run,
And matcht in race the chariot of the sun,
Upon the Poet's sitting and
drinking in the Chair made of the Relics of Sir Francis Drake's Ship.
Clap on more sail, and never spare,
Farewell all lands, for now we are
Bless me! 'tis hot! another bowl of wine !
We round the world are sailing now
And gain such experience, and spy too
Such countries and wonders as I do?
And fail not to touch at Peru;
As I sail round the ocean in this chair.
In every air, and every sea hath been,
Has compass’d all the earth, and all the heaven has seen.
Drake's vessel now, for all her labour past,
Let the case now quite alter'd be,
“ The World will do't; for curiosity
Does no less than Devotion pilgrims make,
Would yet a journey take
Which Phaeton so rashly brake,
The great trade-wind, which ne'er does fail,
Along, around it as the sun.
The streights of Time too narrow are for thee;
Take for thy sail this verse, and, for thy pilot, me.” The family of Drake is thus described in the English Baronetage, containing an account of the English Baronets existing in 1741," and taken, in a great measure, from the papers of Arthur Collins, Esq., the peerage writer, and William Holman, Esq., of Halstead, in Essex, who wrote concerning the antiquities of that county,--5 vols., Lond., 1741, 8vo, vol. i., p. 531.
DRAKE OF BUCKLAND, DEVONSHIRE. Francis, Esquire, created baronet, Aug. 2, 1622. The first we find mentioned of this family is John Drake of Tavistock, in county Devon, afterwards vicar of Upnor, in that county, who fled into Kent, temp. Henry VIII., for fear of the Six Articles, wherein the sting of Popery still remained, though the teeth thereof were knocked out, and the Pope's supremacy abolished. He had two sons, Francis and Thomas ; the eldest son was Sir Francis Drake—having that Christian name from his godfather, Francis, Earl of Bedford-knighted by Queen Elizabeth on shipboard at Deptford, 1581. He represented Boffiney, in Cornwall, 27 Eliz., and Plymouth, in Devon, 35 of that reign. Mr Cambden calls him the greatest captain of the age in maritime achievements. His blocking up the Bay of Mexico for two years together, with continual defeats of the Spaniards, his sailing quite round the world, with great conduct and bravery, and change of fortune, and his other naval achievements, which made him so famous and memorable, are fitter for a history and volume of itself than a design of this nature. He married Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir George Sydenham of Combe-Sydenham, in county Somerset, knight (who, surviving him, afterwards married William Courtenay of Powderham Castle, in Devonshire, Esq.), and dying, Jan. 28, 1595, without issue, left a large estate to his nephew, Francis Drake, Esq., son and heir of his brother Thomas, by Elizabeth, daughter of Gregory, which Thomas had also a daughter, Elizabeth, married to John Bampfylde of Pottimore, in Devon, Esq.